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"

"Hopefully not too soon," laughed Alex.

Unfortunately, he wasn't necessarily going to get his wish.

Ivanova stood outside Lyta Alexander's quarters, tapping in a security override code that would grant her access. The door slid open and she stepped in ... and stopped.

She looked around, her eyes wide. Not only did the place look like a hurricane had hit it, but there was writing everywhere. "Danger, Don't Forget There's Danger," written in an increasingly tired but determined hand. It was the work of a woman who seemed to be in a complete state of panic, as if faced with something so terrifying that she was searching desperately for any means of coping.

"I think," Ivanova muttered, "I've found a clue to her state of mind."

The support structure around the artifact had been completed. Forklifts and other sensor arrays had been placed around the object, and lights had been rigged in the superstructure surrounding it. The comparison was complete: the IPX techies now looked exactly like ants swarming about an anthill.

First technician Kuehler, from his station inside the superstructure, announced, "Probe One to Base, we're ready to proceed." He thought privately that all the code names and nifty identifiers were something of a waste of time. His inclination would have been far less formal, something along the lines of, "Doc, it's Kuehler. Let's do it." But Dr. Trent did so like her little formalities.

"Stand by," replied Trent, who was speaking from backup C&C on Babylon 5. She was busy studying a jury-rigged arrangement of consoles and monitors with which she would monitor the process of the examination. She scanned once more to make certain that everything was on line. One monitor looked a little fuzzy and she adjusted a connector to bring it clear
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